Atomic Show #247 – Jigar Shah, founder SunEdison and Generate Capital

Jigar ShahJigar Shah is the founder of SunEdison, a former CEO of the Carbon War Room, and is currently the President of Generate Capital.

He is also a member of The Energy Gang on Greentech Media.

Jigar and I have been engaged in some lively discussions on Twitter about the future of solar and nuclear energy as businesses and as carbon free electricity generating sources.

Though I love the sun, I remain convinced that collected solar energy has only limited usefulness in supplying the kind of controllable, on demand power needed to run a modern society. In my analysis, atomic fission is the new fire that will take humanity to new heights of prosperity while enabling us to consume far less material. Doing more while consuming less will enable a cleaner, more evenly abundant, more inhabitable, less contentious planet for all human beings.

Jigar has a different point of view. He believes that solar energy development is a multi-trillion dollar opportunity. In addition to his commercial ventures, Jigar published a book titled Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. Though he has spent his professional career developing solar energy, he has been intrigued by the potential of nuclear energy since he was 16.

Jigar has been far more successful in developing and marketing his vision than I have been. He has some tough-love advice for the nuclear industry and the people who want to see nuclear energy grow as a source of clean, abundant energy.

Last night, we decided to continue our sparring in an audio conversation. I hope you will agree that our engagement was lively and worth the time you invest in listening to it.

We still see the world through dramatically different lenses, but there is much that we can each learn from the other’s point of view.

I hope this will not be the last discussion that you will hear featuring the two of us.


Saving the Environment from Environmentalism

By Paul Lorenzini Part I. Must we destroy the environment to save it? When Jonathan Franzen wrote a provocative piece in The New Yorker earlier this year, “Climate Capture”, Chris Clarke, an influential environmental blogger in California, described it as having “walked up to a hornet’s nest and hit it with a baseball bat.”[1] Franzen […]

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Hero worship of a corporate welfare king – Elon Musk

A May 30, 2015 story in the Los Angeles Times titled Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies provides an enlightening look at the basis for Musk’s recent business success. His visionary — and generously subsidized — enterprises including Tesla, Solar City and SpaceX have resulted in his elevation to […]

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The Three Gorges Dam, Why China is Run by Engineers

Perhaps the largest single engineering project of the 20th century was the Three Gorges Dam in China. Standing nearly 600 feet tall, and 2.3 kilometers in length, the Three Gorges Dam is the single largest dam ever constructed, holding a reservoir that stretches for 660 kilometers. Standing at the base of the dam, it feels […]

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Atomic Show #228 – Energiewende status

On November 18, 2014, I participated in a round table discussion hosted by the Global American Business Institute (GABI) and the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER). The guest speaker for the round table was Georg Maue, First Secretary for Climate and Energy, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, DC. The topic […]

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Northwest wind takes a week-long vacation

BPA Nov19-Nov25

Some Atomic Insights readers don’t like it when I use the term “unreliables” to describe weather dependent power sources like wind and solar energy. They believe that word is demeaning and not entirely accurate, especially in certain system designs where wind turbines are partnered with hydro or pumped storage. Even in that situation, however, the […]

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David MacKay asks his audience to use arithmetic to understand energy challenges

After posting a couple of videos with Amory Lovins providing his energy mirage, several commenters indicated they would like to hear and see a different point of view. Unlike Amory, David MacKay is a physicist who likes to use real numbers and simple arithmetic to illustrate the scale of the challenge of replacing the power […]

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Aspen Institute’s Panel Discussion on American Energy Leadership

The above panel discussion — moderated by Coral Davenport, who is an Energy and Environment Policy Reporter for The New York Times — features three energy and policy experts. Meghan O’Sullivan is a professor of International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School. From 2004-2007 she was the deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. Michael […]

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Armond Cohen: Looks at Lovins’s claims with questioning analysis

A few hours ago, I posted a blog titled Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite. That post included a video embed of Lovins presentation during a March 28, 2014 symposium sponsored by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth titled Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present, and […]

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Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite

I had the opportunity to be in the audience during the above talk. You might notice my impolite interjections; I have often been accused of being very poor at hiding my real reactions and feelings. There is a reason why I stopped playing poker during game nights on the USS Stonewall Jackson. I was losing […]

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Proud nuclear-enthusiast bubble dweller

A friend just passed me a link to an article on Clean Technica by Zachary Shahan titled Why Are So Many Redditors Obsessed With Uncompetitive Nuclear Energy?. Shahan bemoans the fact that nuclear supporters on Reddit seem to outnumber solar and wind supporter and believes that contrasts with the real world as demonstrated by the […]

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Cape Wind scrambling to meet deadline to qualify for $780 million taxpayer gift

Cape Wind is the leading offshore wind energy project in the United States. In 2001, more than 12 years ago, Jim Gordon, the project founder, started the process of promoting his vision of a building a 430 MWe (peak capacity) field of 130 massive (rotor diameter – 110 m, hub height – 80 m, nacelle […]

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